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Creator / Hermann Hesse

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Hermann Karl Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German Nobel Prize winning author. His works were extremely popular in the 1960s, to the extent of being called the "Hesse Torrent." He received the Nobel Prize in 1946 for The Glass Bead Game. His books are often metaphysical in nature and deal with a search for self-knowledge and understanding, especially where faith is concerned.

Works include:

  • Peter Camenzind
  • Beneath the Wheel
  • Gertrude
  • Rosshalde
  • Knulp
  • Demian
  • Siddhartha
  • Steppenwolf
  • Narcissus and Goldmund
  • Journey to the East
  • The Glass Bead Game, originally published as Magister Ludi.
  • Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse's books provide examples of:

  • The Ace: Max Demian, in the titular book, is not only smarter than everyone in his age group but is capable of trouncing the bully who has the protagonist in his thrall. Emil Sinclair thinks that he seems like an adult among children and forms what can only be described as a platonic crush on him.
  • All Myths Are True: Pilgrims in the Journey to the East experience history, religion, legend, fantasy and normal reality all blending into one.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Hermine in Steppenwolf.
  • Author Avatar: You'll find the initials H.H. a lot in Hesse's work.
  • Betty and Veronica: In Gertrude, Gertrude is Archie, to Kuhn's Betty and Muoth's Veronica.
  • The Black Death: In Narcissus and Goldmund
  • Burn the Witch!
  • Calvinball: How exactly the Glass Bead Game goes is never fully explained....
  • Casanova Wannabe: Emil
  • The Charmer: Goldmund, of Narcissus and Goldmund. Max Demian and his mother, in lesser degree, are charmers too.
  • Child Prodigy: Often a deconstruction, as in Beneath the Wheel.
  • The Descendants of Cain: A central theme in Demian. The title character (whose forehead does have a certain brightness) speculates that the whole story of Cain killing Abel was propaganda from ordinary people who felt threatened by the genuinely gifted.
  • The Drifter: Knulp
  • Eccentric Mentor
  • Even the Girls Want Her: At one point, Hermine from Steppenwolf seduces a young woman, notably not in her androgynous attire.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Kamala in Siddhartha.
  • If Only You Knew: Sinclair in Demian feels a moment of pity and resentment that his family doesn't know he's being blackmailed into petty crime by a bully; he thinks the trope name almost word for word when his father scolds him for getting his boots muddy.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Harry in Steppenwolf.
  • Innocence Lost: The beginning of Demian.
  • King Incognito: In The Journey to the East, the servant Leo turns out to be the President of the League.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: In Demian, Frau Eva (Demian's mother) is described as having male features alongside feminine cues. She looks quite a bit like her son.
  • Last-Name Basis: Emil Sinclair and Max Demian call each other by surname. Demian's mother, on the other hand, is "Frau Eva" to Sinclair almost from the start, which her son duly notes as the name people call her when they are in love with her.
  • Mentor Archetype
  • Milestone Birthday Angst: The protagonist of Steppenwolf is 47 and suicidal. Shortly after the beginning of the novel, he gets the idea to commit suicide on the day of his 50th birthday.
  • The Not-Love Interest: In Demian, Sinclair develops what can only be described as an awed crush on the title character, and it continues throughout the book. When he meets Frau Eva, who looks like a feminine version of her son, he falls in love immediately.
  • Philosophical Parable
  • Stacy's Mom: Sinclair is immediately smitten with Demian's mother, who is not only aware of this but once rather unsubtly hints that he could have her if he'd just be bold enough to try.
  • The Muse: Gertrude to Kuhn, and Demian has one too.
  • The Order: The League in The Journey to the East.
  • The Plague: Very relevant to Narcissus and Goldmund.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What, exactly, did Max Demian do to Sinclair's bully?
  • Transflormation: Piktors Verwandlungen/Piktor's Metamorphoses is a fairy tale about a version of Paradise where the animals and plants change forms all the time. The titular Piktor transforms into a tree and is stuck in this form until a woman comes and becomes one with him. The pair can now shapeshift just like all the other creatures.
  • Troubled Child